The recent release from Google for the launch of their onsite call tracking solution validates what call tracking companies have been saying for some time, “calls are the new clicks.” Personal engagement is back in fashion and if you’re not ready for it you’re missing a huge opportunity to optimise your business (not just marketing).
We and other call tracking companies have been working with Google for some time perfecting the integration of our data into Google Analytics and Adwords, and I have no doubt that the success we (the Call Tracking industry) have had with clients is a key reason for Google’s recent announcement.
Already I have had an existing client ask whether the announcement was like “being stabbed in your back with your own knife” to which the answer is no, far from it.
There is more to call tracking than just knowing the Advertising source – just like there is more to your marketing mix than just paid Google Search.
Essentially there are four key elements for a complete call tracking solution:
1) Marketing effectiveness – Which of your marketing efforts are generating calls?
Traditionally that has meant which TV, Press, Radio, outdoor ad etc. However more recently we have been able to provide greater transparency into your digital marketing activity. Not only can you track down to a granular keyword level for Paid Search, but you can also track calls from Display activity as well as Organic/ Direct and referral traffic also. Online call tracking can also be integrated into A/B testing solutions like Optimizely to start optimising not just keyword conversion but page and creative elements which ultimately leads to an increase in conversion rates.
2) Directing your calls into your business – Getting the call to the right person at the right time!
Getting the phone to ring is one thing, making sure it’s ringing in the right place and will be answered by the right person is another. If you’re a small business with just a single answer point then a basic call forwarding solution might be sufficient for your needs. However if you have multiple store locations, varying business hours or even just separate internal departments/ brands, then directing calls into a single answer point may not be the best solution for your business nor the best user experience for your customers. Most dedicated call tracking companies have a variety of call handling features designed to deliver calls into your business in the most effective way. The good ones will work with you to constantly improve and refine that process to ensure maximum value from every call.
3) Call handling reporting – What happens to calls once they hit your business?
Are you answering all your calls? Who is answering them? Where are they calling from? What time of the day and really importantly how well are your calls being handled/ answered? These are all key considerations when you start to optimise the most important aspect of customer calls – Conversion. Did you know on average businesses miss between 17-20% of all calls? How many more sales could you make if you can reduce that by 5 or 10%? Most call tracking companies will have some form of missed call notification and call recording to help manage your missed calls and monitor the quality of your calls.
Call Outcome, or equivalent products are also valuable tools allowing you to enter the exact $ amount against sales calls. This sales amount can then be integrated into your Google Analytics and Adwords accounts giving you the ability to optimise keywords based on the number of total calls as well as the actual $ value of sales generated from particular calls or campaigns.
4) Data Integration – Your data anywhere you want it.
As I mentioned earlier we (the Call Tracking industry) have worked hard to provide integration with Google, but we have also worked with other software applications, campaign management and optimisation tools that you’re probably already using. Platforms such as Acquisio, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Optimizely, Marin, Kenshoo, Salesforce, Marketo, Datalicious and many more, are widely used and most call tracking companies will have varying levels of integration with some if not all of them. With the increasing competition within the data space, many of the top call tracking companies can also create custom integrations to meet your needs.
Taking Data offline and into CRM systems is the best way to accurately track the customers entire path to purchase and also measure the true value of the conversion over the customers life cycle. And for products with a longer sales cycle you can match the initial online lead to other conversions such as POS (Point of Sale) data.
Google’s call extension is dealing with just one aspect and only one medium or marketing source. In a market where the existence of call tracking, let alone the true benefits of call tracking are still largely unknown, Google has added their considerable clout to raise awareness.
For that we are thankful.
To find out how call tracking can be applied to your wider marketing mix book your Free Demonstration.